Press Releases

Need for Child Care Subsidies in Mid-Hudson Far Outstrips Supply

May 15, 2015

Contact: Steve Densmore, Press Liaison, Dyson Foundation (845) 234-8713

Need for Child Care Subsidies in Mid-Hudson Far Outstrips Supply

MID-HUDSON VALLEY, NY—Demand for government child care subsidies far outstrips supply, leaving many low income families struggling to pay the high cost of child care throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley, according to a recently-released report by the Center for Government Research (CGR).

The report, Child Care Subsidies in the Mid-Hudson Valley: An Analysis of Need, Availability and Trends, states that only 12% percent of eligible children in Dutchess County were receiving child care funding in 2013, while the percentages participating were even lower in Ulster (11%), Sullivan (11%), Orange (10%), Columbia (10%), Greene (10%), and Putnam (7%), counties.

Child care can be an expense that is simply out of reach for low-income families. A family needing full-time care for an infant can pay as much as $13,100 per year. "Compare that to the before-tax earnings of a minimum wage worker - $18,200. If this worker has a second child, work becomes a near impossibility," the report states.

"The Dyson Foundation supported CGR's research for this report because access to quality child care for economically disadvantaged families is so important but so often a financial hardship. This report provides subsidy data and trends to advocates, policy makers, and the public, and will hopefully inform conversations about how to address this ongoing need," said Cecilia Stancell, program officer at the foundation.

In recent years, Dutchess and Orange have each created waiting lists, as the number of families seeking subsidies outpaced the number the counties could afford to serve. Both counties also reduced the eligibility threshold to 125% (from 200%) of the federal poverty level. In the fall of 2013, about 80 Orange County families lost their subsidies with 10 days' notice when the threshold was reduced.

"With child care subsidies reaching only 10% of the children who could potentially benefit, it's clear there is unmet need throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. And with subsidies increasingly concentrated in poor families, many working families with low incomes are struggling to meet their child care needs," said Erika Rosenberg, the study's author.

From 2007 to 2013, the number of subsidies provided in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties increased 6%, from 2,866 to 3,031. Aside from a bump up in 2010 to 3,285 due to additional federal funding from the stimulus package, the number of subsidies provided has hovered very close to 3,000 per year. The number of subsidies increased in Dutchess (12%), Orange (3%), Columbia (18%) and Putnam (27%) and decreased in Ulster (-2%) and Greene (-10%).

Over the same time period, federal and state funding for subsidies increased 22% in Dutchess and 12% in Columbia, while falling 16% in Greene and Putnam, 11% in Orange, and 9% in Ulster after adjusting for inflation.

The federal government provided additional funding for subsidies in 2010 as part of the stimulus package aimed at lifting the economy out of recession. In that year, the number of subsidies increased in the three counties to almost 2,900. But when that funding expired, counties had to find ways to cut back, often by lowering the income eligibility level.

As you would expect, this has had the effect of concentrating subsidies among poorer families. From 2011 to 2013 (the only years with available data), the number of subsidies going to families with income below the poverty level increased 38% in Columbia, 34% in Dutchess, 24% in Putnam, 18% in Greene, 18% in Orange, and 2% in Ulster, while there were declines in subsidies to families with income above the poverty level in all counties.

"The Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc. receives calls daily from parents who are looking for child care, but are unable to afford the cost and do not qualify for a subsidy. Parents want their children to be in safe, nurturing and educational programs. But without financial assistance, working families are often forced to settle for unregulated, unsafe and undependable care or leave the workforce altogether," said Jeanne Wagner, executive director of the council.

Child care is expensive – not only for families but also for government. Spending in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster totaled $17.4 million in 2014-15, but estimates by CGR suggest it would cost $100 million just to serve all eligible families with incomes below poverty.

But, the study suggests, there are ways to target additional subsidies to those most in need. For example, targeting families with income at or below poverty, or those with children 0-3 are two potential strategies.

As research and attention continues to focus on the importance of the early years of childhood in setting a good foundation for learning, and the benefits of reliable child care to workers and employers, New York policymakers will likely face increased pressure to support quality care and education – including the child care subsidy program.

To learn more, see the full report (updated in April), Child Care Subsidies in the Mid-Hudson Valley: An Analysis of Need, Availability and Trends.


Dyson Foundation's Leadership to Change in June

March 19, 2015
Contact: Steve Densmore, Press Liaison, Dyson Foundation, (845) 234-8713

Dyson Foundation's Leadership to Change in June
President Diana Gurieva Stepping Away After Leading Foundation for 24 Years
Community Foundations' Andrea Reynolds will become New President

Diana M GurievaMILLBROOK, NY—After leading day-to-day operations of the Dyson Foundation for nearly a quarter century, Diana M. Gurieva has decided to step away from her role as president of the Mid-Hudson Valley's largest charitable foundation. Andrea L. Reynolds, the longtime president of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, will become the Dyson Foundation's new president when the transition takes place in June, 2015.

"I am profoundly grateful to Diana Gurieva for so faithfully representing my family's charitable interests over the last 24 years," said Dyson Foundation Chairman Robert R. Dyson. "Equally important, Diana has served the people of the Hudson Valley just as faithfully. Her tireless efforts have literally helped hundreds of thousands of people. Her legacy is well established and greatly appreciated."

Ms. Gurieva, who will continue to serve the Foundation as an advisor following the transition, said she looks forward to her new role. "I thank Rob Dyson and his family for entrusting me with the supervision of this remarkable institution. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the Dyson Foundation for so long," said Ms. Gurieva. "My role with the Foundation is not ending, just changing. I can't think of anyone more suitable to assume the task of President of the Dyson Foundation going forward than Andrea Reynolds, who has the right mix of talent, experience, and temperament necessary to continue its important work."

Andrea L Reynolds

President and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley since 2005, Ms. Reynolds said: "I am truly honored that the Board of Directors and the Dyson family have chosen me to serve as the Dyson Foundation's next president. I recognize the critical role this venerable institution holds in the Mid-Hudson Valley and I will do my best to follow the sterling example that Diana Gurieva has established over the last 24 years. Meanwhile, I want to thank the board of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley for the remarkable opportunity I've had working with them over the last decade. We have accomplished much together."
Nancy Rossi Brownell, chairperson of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, said: "The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley are forever indebted to Andrea Reynolds for her leadership over the last decade. She has taken our philanthropic institution to new heights. We will miss her terribly but understand that this is a fantastic opportunity that she could not pass up. We wish her well and look forward to working with her in the future."

After becoming the Dyson Foundation's first professional staff person in 1991, Ms. Gurieva led the Foundation during a period of major expansion and civic engagement, overseeing an increase in total assets from $12 million to its current $235 million and growth in its grantmaking from $4 million to $18 million annually. She also managed and implemented several of the Foundation's special initiatives during this time, including the Community Pediatrics Training Initiative, the Many Voices One Valley studies, the Walkway Over the Hudson project, and the creation of Upper Landing Park in the City of Poughkeepsie.

Ms. Gurieva has been a board director of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Board of Directors of the Grantmakers Forum of New York, and the national Committee on Family Foundations of the Council on Foundations. She has also served on the boards of directors or committees of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association of America. Prior to joining the Dyson Foundation in 1991, Ms. Gurieva worked for 20 years in reproductive rights and women's health, having served as the CEO of three of the nation's largest Planned Parenthood organizations.

Since becoming the president of the Community Foundation of Dutchess County in 2005, Ms. Reynolds has led the organization throughout a period of sustained expansion. Under her direction, the Community Foundation grew to include Ulster and Putnam counties, becoming the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and increased its total assets from $22 million to $51 million. Ms. Reynolds manages a staff of six and oversees more than 530 charitable funds with annual grants of $3.2 million.

Ms. Reynolds previously worked at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for ten years, holding a variety of positions, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the then $250 million organization. Previous to her work in the community foundation field, she was a senior associate in allocations for United Way of the Mid-South helping to allocate $5 million annually.

About the Dyson Foundation

The Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed, grant-making foundation. Established in 1957, it is led by Robert R. Dyson, who has served as its president since 2000. The Dyson Foundation awards grants throughout New York's Dutchess County and Mid-Hudson Valley, as well outside the Hudson Valley. Since its founding 58 years ago, the Foundation has awarded nearly $316 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley and elsewhere in the United States.

About the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

For more than 40 years, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has been a driving force of philanthropy in the region, distributing funds from thousands of donors and connecting people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and its affiliates, Community Foundation of Dutchess County, Community Foundation of Ulster County and Community Foundation of Putnam County provide donor services, award grants and scholarships that positively impact communities, ensure sustainability of the nonprofit and philanthropic community, and serve as a leader, catalyst, and resource for charitable and philanthropic causes.


Foundation Offers to Buy Upper Landing Site, Create Waterfront Park

 March 6, 2012 


Plans Presented at March 5th Common Council Meeting

 POUGHKEEPSIE—Dyson Foundation representatives appeared before the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council on Monday night to present plans to purchase the historic but unutilized Upper Landing property so that the Foundation can create a new public waterfront park near the entrance of the planned Walkway Waterfront Elevator.

City leaders stated that they may bring the sale resolution to a vote at the next scheduled Council meeting on March 19th.  Mayor John C. Tkazyik said, “The Dyson Foundation’s project on the revitalization of Upper Landing is a true gift to the City of Poughkeepsie by creating a historic waterfront park and continues to build upon the foundation set by Walkway Over the Hudson.”

Dyson Foundation representatives also plan to make a similar presentation before the city’s Waterfront Advisory Commission (WAC) prior to the vote.

 The Dyson Foundation offered to purchase the 2.7-acre parcel from the City for $675,000 and to begin work immediately to preserve and improve the historically significant waterfront property, rendering it suitable for use as a public park.

 In addition to its cultural and historic importance, the Foundation believes the Upper Landing property is significant to the future development of the city’s northern waterfront, particularly given the pending construction—expected to be completed in 2013—of a 21-story waterfront elevator to transport visitors from Poughkeepsie’s waterfront to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

 “The Foundation hopes to be a catalyst for the creation of a public waterfront experience that will serve as a centerpiece for the City of Poughkeepsie’s historic preservation, public recreation, and economic revitalization,” said Diana Gurieva, Executive Vice President of the Dyson Foundation. “We also look forward to working with the public and many interested stakeholders in finding appropriate uses for the historic Hoffman and Reynolds houses, which are located on the property.”

 Upon purchasing the property from the city, the Foundation proposes to immediately begin the first phase of its improvement plan, including a series of landscape improvements and aesthetic enhancements designed to make the grounds suitable for public use and enjoyment in time for the Walkway Waterfront Elevator’s planned opening in the spring of 2013. In addition to the purchase price, the Foundation estimates it will spend more than $1 million on the first phase of its improvement plan.

 The second phase of the Upper Landing improvement project will involve a public examination and determination of the most appropriate uses for the Hoffman House and the Reynolds House, two historically significant buildings which date to the late 18th Century settling of the community. The Hoffman House and the Reynolds House are each currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Ms. Gurieva said all proposed improvements to the Upper Landing property will be conducted with the utmost sensitivity to the property’s distinct historical significance and that the Foundation will commit the property to uses involving public access and to public benefit.

 The Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed charitable grantmaking foundation established in 1957. Headquartered in Millbrook, New York, the Foundation awards grants throughout the six counties of the Mid-Hudson Valley. During the past 10 years, the Dyson Foundation has awarded 289 grants totaling nearly $23.4 million to nonprofit organizations based in the City of Poughkeepsie.



Dyson Foundation and Marist Poll Release New Study

Measuring the Priorities of Mid-Hudson Valley Residents

Many Voices One Valley 2012

Contact: The Marist Poll, 845-575-5050
Lee M. Miringoff
Mary E. Azzoli
The Dyson Foundation
Diana M. Gurieva, 845-677-0644
Steve Densmore, 845-234-8713

Poughkeepsie – Living in the Mid-Hudson Valley is, overall, an enjoyable experience for most residents in the region. Residents also believe they can make a difference in their community. However, 61% believe it is an unaffordable place to live, and economic concerns are forcing a significant proportion of residents to consider moving away. It is not surprising that economic issues are top of mind for Mid-Hudson Valley residents.

This study, Many Voices One Valley 2012, is the second quinquennial update of a survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in partnership with the Dyson Foundation. It updates similar surveys conducted in 2007 and 2002.

"This far-reaching report provides a window into the day-to-day lives of Mid-Hudson Valley residents, clearly demonstrating their challenges, hopes and priorities. We hope the region's leaders and service providers will utilize this resource to help guide their actions on residents' behalf," said Robert Dyson, President of the Dyson Foundation.

A total of 4,443 residents living in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties were interviewed from February 2nd through March 14th, 2012. Survey results for all residents are statistically significant at ±1.5%.

"One of the advantages of a project of this magnitude is the ability to identify important trends in the Mid-Hudson Valley," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Clearly, the economy and jobs are now top of mind for people in the region."

"This third Many Voices One Valley report, so ably produced by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, gives us a fascinating look at the evolution of Mid-Hudson Valley residents' viewpoints and priorities over a 10-year period," said Diana Gurieva, Executive Vice President of the Dyson Foundation.

What do the results for 2012 show? How have they changed over the past decade? The study's key findings include:

  • Most residents, 84%, like living in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
  • Economic concerns have surpassed health care worries as the leading priorities in the region. With 44% of residents citing business retention as their top priority, keeping businesses in the area is the leading issue for residents. Job creation follows closely behind. Reducing taxes ranks sixth and is of lesser concern than in 2007 when it placed third.
  • Residents are also concerned about the quality of jobs in their community. Nearly seven in ten residents, 69%, are disappointed with the quality of their local jobs, and 67% believe their community needs to expend more resources to improve them.
  • Most Mid-Hudson Valley residents see a bleak jobs picture. They perceive jobs as hard to come by, and nearly half of residents are concerned that someone in their household will become unemployed. If they were to lose their job, 76% of employed residents are pessimistic that they would be able to find a similar position.
  • The Mid-Hudson Valley was not immune from the recession. A notable 28% of residents found themselves searching for a job at some point after the recession hit in 2007. A majority of Mid-Hudson Valley residents, 51%, think the effects of the recession are long-lasting, and the jobs which were lost will never return.
  • Housing concerns are also prevalent in the region. Sixty-two percent of Mid-Hudson Valley residents think there is a need for more affordable housing. A majority of renters, 56%, say, if they cannot afford to buy a home, they will leave the region. Homeowners have their own concerns. Almost three in ten homeowners, 29%, report that they would still owe more money than they would receive if they were to sell their home today.
  • Providing affordable health care remains a pressing concern for residents in the Mid-Hudson Valley region and is among their top five priorities. It ranked first in 2007.
  • The proportion of residents who have experienced a gap in health coverage over the past year has not changed. Today, that proportion is 24%. However, small strides have been made over the decade in providing continuous coverage to children.
  • Providing quality education has remained a leading concern for residents in the Mid-Hudson Valley since 2002. The issue has ranked within the top five since that time and currently places third.
  • Providing services for senior citizens rounds out residents' top five priorities.

There are three reports which detail many of the findings from the current survey as well as comparisons over the past decade. The first report, Many Voices One Valley, focuses on people's perceptions of living and working in the Mid-Hudson Valley and discusses their priorities for the future. Making Ends Meet is the second report which presents residents' attitudes toward the region's affordability and other financial factors which affect their lives. Finally, Health Matters discusses people's thoughts about the quality of health care in their community and addresses the factors that influence the ability of people to afford and access health care.

For county comparisons, demographic information, and complete survey findings and reports, visit Information about the survey is available on
Facebook at, or you can follow us on For more information about the Dyson Foundation, visit Information about the Marist Institute for Public Opinion is located at

Hurricane Irene Emergency Funding Available

August 31, 2011

The Dyson Foundation has instituted two emergency grant programs that will provide assistance to Mid-Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations that have incurred Hurricane Irene-related damages or losses not covered by insurance, as well as funding for nonprofits providing aid to residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties who have suffered uninsured hurricane-related damages or losses. The Dyson Foundation will expedite review of all storm-related applications so that needed funds will be made available to impacted nonprofits and residents as soon as possible.

Nonprofit organizations can apply for emergency funds to assist the organization to recover from Hurricane Irene incurred damages or losses with a one-page narrative describing the uninsured damages or losses and a budget and/or invoice of estimated recovery costs. Applicants are advised to submit these two documents to

The Dyson Foundation will also make grants to nonprofit organizations providing direct services to residents of the Mid-Hudson Valley. These funds are to provide emergency financial assistance to support people impacted by Hurricane Irene. The Foundation will accept applications from organizations with well-established emergency financial assistance programs. These funds are available for qualified nonprofits to distribute to Mid-Hudson Valley residents to cover a broad range of needs resulting from Hurricane Irene. Nonprofit organizations wishing to apply for these funds can submit a one page narrative description of the expected use of the funds and a supporting budget to Please note that this funding is not being offered directly to individual residents.

The Dyson Foundation is a private grant making foundation headquartered in Dutchess County and directed by the Dyson family under the leadership of Foundation President Robert R. Dyson. The Dyson Foundation's mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life in the region for all of its residents, especially those most vulnerable or economically disadvantaged.